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Community support gives a local business owner hope during the pandemic

Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 9:15 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Victoria West has run Gift Gallery of Vienna for seven years now, making this her seventh Small Business Saturday. She says this year has been the most challenging year she’s ever faced as a business owner.

Due to the pandemic, the shop has had to navigate late shipments of inventory as well as that inventory being limited.

West said, “This is the year to - if you see it, you get it because we can’t, as small business owners - we’re not going to be able to restock our shelves with the things that everybody loves. We’re going to have a variety of things but we’re not going to be able to supply large quantities of things because it’s just not available.”

West said that community support from this holiday is important and customers didn’t disappoint.

“As we prepared for this, you don’t know what to expect but our community has not let us down today at all. We have seen a continual steady pace of our support network and I’ve always said Shop Small Saturday is like a big community hug for business owners.”

She added that seeing all the support from the community gives her hope during a trying year. However, community support has not been a scarce resource during the pandemic.

West said businesses check in on one another and share ideas.

Customers have been another source of light.

“...,and customers, we would get cards in the mail or I would come to work and there would be something on the doorstep. There would be an encouraging letter or my customers have made home goods for us and brought them to us.,” West said.

She added that she is thankful that she chose to set up shop in the Mid-Ohio Valley because it feels like the community cares.

The glue that holds a small town together is thick.

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